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Reconsider life-without-parole for juvenile, court rules

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a trial court must reconsider the sentence of life without the possibility of parole for a juvenile convicted of aggravated murder.

The court made the ruling Wednesday in overturning the sentence of Eric Long, who along with two adult defendants was sentenced to life without parole for two slayings in the Cincinnati area in 2009. Long was 17 when the crimes were committed.

The court ruled that that the youth and accompanying characteristics of juvenile offenders must be considered as a mitigating factor before they are given such a sentence.

Long’s appeal claimed such a sentence was unconstitutional as cruel and usual punishment.

The ruling reversed the trial court and a state appeals court.